Thursday, July 7, 2022
After getting back to the hotel, we got organized for today. Some rearranging of the suitcase items, etc. After reading a while, I had a surprisingly restful night. No plane or traffic noise. Another reason I like it here.
I was awake 15 minutes before my alarms. Yes, I said alarms. I know I only need one but the “over-thinking, what-if” part of my brain says, “set two alarms – you never know if one might fail.” Sigh. I didn’t need either one of them.
The shower had good pressure, the hair dryer and in-room coffee maker worked, and there was a nice selection of cold and hot breakfast items. Seemed like it was going to be a good morning.
We were going to catch the 8:00 hotel shuttle but when we got to the lobby, the 7:30 shuttle hadn’t left yet so we got on it. Few minutes later, we were at the airport. Easy bag check at the Delta outside kiosks. Bags weighed less than 50 pounds each, so good to go.
Now we are inside ready to go through security. We are members of CLEAR so we typically can move to the front of the general boarding line very quickly. However, today the CLEAR line was almost as long as general boarding. WTH? The line moved so slowly; I was so glad we had gotten on the 7:30 shuttle.
When we finally got to the front, I saw the issue. There was the new full-body scanner and there was only one scanner for 3 different people lines that were merging into one people line – we were the people version of construction on I-75.
My bags had already gone through the luggage scanner and were just sitting on the conveyor. I was still waiting to get through the body scanner. I was just praying that nobody would deliberately or accidentally take my bags from the conveyor. Stress level high.
I got through the scanner without any alarms going off but then the agent stopped me to wand my arms and waist. Okay. Weird. But, yay! All my stuff was still in their bins. Stress level lowered.
Chuck ended up a few people behind me because they had trouble scanning his eyes at the CLEAR station. His eyes are so pale blue that they had to turn on extra lights on the machine to read them. Then, his backpack went through the naughty line. He had left his e-reader in it, so it had to be taken out and the bag rescanned. We really need to go through the process of getting TSA pre-check to avoid the aggravation of shoes and belts off, electronics out.
We finally made it to the gate. We were still early thankfully. We had time to use the restroom and then boarding started at 9:30. This plane had 3 seats on the left and right side, so we had aisle seats across from each other. Chuck’s aisle mates were already seated. There was a guy at the window seat in my aisle but nobody in the middle. I didn’t put on my seatbelt because I knew eventually there would be a middle seat person and I would have to get up to let him/her in.
People were still streaming in, and the flight attendants kept announcing that the flight is full please find your seats quickly. I kept waiting for the middle seat person to arrive. Then, they closed the doors. What? No person in the middle seat? Wow.
I took Chuck’s backpack and put it under the middle seat in my aisle so he could have some more legroom at his seat. We took off on time and the Captain announced it would be about a 2-hour flight – 30 minutes less than the flight schedule. Yay again.
I couldn’t find a movie I wanted to watch, so I just watched Simpson episodes until the plane landed. Chuck tried to watch a movie, but he didn’t get to see how it ended since we landed early. Maybe he can catch the ending on the way back.
After retrieving our checked bags, we followed the signs to the Uber/Lyft area and an UberXL was quickly booked. While we were waiting for the UberXL to arrive, I got a notification that our hotel room was ready. More good news.
I chose the Hyatt Regency Boston because of its walking distance location to the start of the Freedom Trail and because I like Hyatt hotels. This particular Hyatt seems to cater to conferences because it has a lot of rooms and meetings spaces. When we arrived, we had to take an elevator up from the street level to the check-in area. Once we got our keys, we used them for access to the elevators up to our room. They told us they only service the rooms every 4 days so we just asked for extra coffee and towels so we should be fine until check-out.
After resting a while, we decided to undertake the dreaded task of the official COVID test. I got the computer connected to my phone’s hotspot. I didn’t want to take the chance that the hotel WIFI might go out. I logged in like I usually do but the welcome page was different. I usually only have to login with my NAVICA credentials but today I had to create an Emed account before it allowed me to go further. Okay. Stress level on the rise again.
Once I created the Emed account, it took me to the NAVICA page. WTH – why didn’t it just take me there in the beginning? I logged into it too with the credentials I always use. Yay, it recognized me. Took the test and got my negative results. Did the whole double login process for Chuck and he took his test with negative results. Great! Stress level lowered.
We really weren’t surprised that we were negative since we had taken non-medically monitored tests earlier in the week and had negative results. But it is always great to get the official results since those results are the only ones that mattered.
Now that we had our negative results, I had to complete the ArriveCAN app which is currently required by anyone who is traveling to Canada by air or sea. It was a pretty easy app to complete because I had already scanned our passports before we left so I just had a few questions to answer. 10 minutes – done.
The VeriFLY app was a little more difficult to complete. Because our negative test results were password protected, they wouldn’t upload. I finally realized that I could take a picture of the results and upload the pictures of the documents. Whew! The VerfiFLY app soon said the magic words – Ready to Sail! – Yes, we are so very ready to sail.
Massachusetts – The Bay State
Massachusetts was originally inhabited by tribes of the Algonquian language family such as the Wampanoag, Narragansett, Nipmuc, Pocomtuc, Mahican, and Massachusett. Early explorers visited the coast of Massachusetts in 1497. The first English settlers in Massachusetts, the Pilgrims, arrived on the Mayflower at Plymouth in 1620.
On April 19, 1775, the Revolutionary War began with the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
Massachusetts became the sixth state to join the United States on February 6, 1788.
James Naismith invented basketball in 1891 at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Also in 1891, Fig Newtons were invented in Cambridge, Massachusetts and named after Newton, Massachusetts. They were almost called “Fig Shrewsbury,” but Newton won.
The chocolate chip cookie was invented by Ruth Graves Wakefield and her husband in 1930 in the Toll House Restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts.
Earl Tupper of Grafton Massachusetts invented Tupperware and marketed his products to the public in 1946 as a giveaway with cigarettes.
Dunkin Donuts was founded in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1950 and opened its first franchise restaurant in Dedham, Massachusetts in 1955. It sold 52 varieties of donuts.
Lake Chargogagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg is a lake in the town of Webster, Massachusetts. It is located near the Connecticut border and has a surface area of 1,442 acres. The name derives from the Loup dialect, which is an Algonquian language. The locals call it Webster Lake.
Massachusetts is one of the nation’s leading producers of cranberries.
It is illegal to use tomatoes in clam chowder in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts is located along the Atlantic Flyway, a major route for migratory waterfowl.
Mount Holyoke College, the first college established for women, was founded in 1837 in South Hadley, Massachusetts, as the Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. The founder was Mary Lyon, a pioneer in education for women.
*Trivia provided by Wikipedia and various Massachusetts tourist websites.